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Treating ADD and ADHD with Homeopathy

by Hung-Yeh Peisinger

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There is a growing number of concerned parents who do not want to medicate their children who are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD or ADHD) and are looking for alternative treatments. This article is a short introduction to homeopathy as an alternative.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is being diagnosed in epidemic proportions. In 1996, the number of school children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD in the US was about four million. In the last 10 years most physicians and others have asked the question of possible over diagnosis. In his book ‘The Myth of the ADD child’ Thomas Armstrong claims that children learn in many different ways, have different coping styles in reaction to stress, and that ADD is overdiagnosed and overtreated. He suggests a wide range of non-pharmacologic approaches to the problem, suxh as changes in classroom set ups, more kinesthetic learning, project-based learning, martial arts, etc. There is also concern about possible harmful long-term effects of Ritalin.

In their well researched book, ‘Ritalin Free Kids’ Reichenberg and Ullman tell us about their experience in treating children with ADD or ADHD. ‘Can a child who lashes out in a violent destructive manner and has no interest in his schoolwork fit into the same diagnostic group as a sweet, gregarious child who simply cannot pay attention in class? Conventional medicine would say that based on their scores on a standardized ADD test, both children could indeed have ADD. Homeopathy would say that these two distinct children are as different as night and day. A homeopath would prescribe different medicine for the two children. And what about the many conditions that mimic ADD, such as dyslexia, other learning disabilities….developmental disorders, hypo/hyperthryoidism, ….anxiety, depression, compulsive disorder, just to name a few…?’

Can we lump all these children under one diagnostic category and give them one drug? Homeopaths treat the individual and not the diagnosis. We take the whole person into account and want to know the specific pattern of symptoms that the child exhibits. Each person manifests his or her ADD in a unique way. For us a child who is violent and aggressive and spits in people’s faces needs a different remedy than a child who is anxious, lacks self-confidence and often feels ridiculed. There are more than 3000 homeopathic remedies and a homeopath tries to select one specific remedy that best matches the child’s symptoms; including knowledge of her disposition; dreams; fears; food preferences; medical history of the child, parents and grandparents; the exact way her ADD is expressed; and more. ‘The homeopath is much more interested in what is distinctive or unique about that individual with ADD rather than those symptoms, such as restlessness and distractibility, which are common to most ADD patients. The homeopath wants to know what the particular child or adults thinks and feels rather than the interpretation of the parent or teacher or therapists.’

Since homeopathy treats the whole person and not just one syndrome/diagnosis, the improvements patients experience through homeopathic treatment are greater than just the disappearance of one particular set of symptoms. The violent child becomes more settled and balanced in her over all mood, the shy and anxious child develops greater confidence and strength of character.

Ritalin and its other drug relatives mask the symptoms of ADD and ADHD for a few hours only. J.M.Swanson’s article ‘Effect of Stimulant Medication on Children with ADD’ states that Ritalin treatment does not cause ‘significant improvement in reading skills, athletic or game skills, or positive social skills […] Overall, long-term adjustment, as measured by academic achievement, antisocial behavior and arrest rate, was unaffected by medication.’

Homeopathy treats the whole child. Not only do the behavioral and learning problems diminish but homeopathic treatment often will stimulate a growth spurt in the child. Overall, the child becomes healthier and happier.

Homeopathic medicines also are safe and non-toxic. They do not cause side effects such as muscle tics, appetite loss, or insomnia (some of the known side effects of Ritalin).

For people interested in reading more on homeopathy as an alternative treatment, I highly recommend the book ‘Ritalin Free Kids - Our clinical experience’ by Reichenberg and Ullman.

Hung-Yeh Peisinger holds a practitioner diploma from the Devon School of Homeopathy in England, one of the oldest homeopathic colleges in the UK, and is registered with the Maritime Society of Homeopaths. She has been practicing in Halifax since 1997. Tel: (902) 479-0312


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